As you know, I usually offer practical tips here in this newsletter and on my blog. But this month, I wanted to offer some coaching and advice around feelings of overwhelm and anxiety that are often associated with being disorganized. Please read below if you are interested in learning more about this topic.
And here’s to a healthy and more stress-free New Year!
Struggling with Feelings of Overwhelm, Anxiety and Shame and How to Transcend Them
Sometimes, a few of my clients have confessed that they felt overwhelmed, anxious, or shame due to their disorganization—dreading our upcoming organizing session. One client even said that she couldn’t sleep the night before our session, which had to do with organizing her financial and work related files and papers. (Thank goodness that I don’t take this personally.)Part of their anxiety is that I will be witness to their disorganization, even though I try not to judge, just help. After the session(s), the client usually relays this information while chuckling to him/herself, since the session(s) wound up being productive and they actually got some clarity on their situation. I laugh along with them. But these incidents got me thinking–how many people must feel substantial anxiety, overwhelm and shame over their lack of organization? And more importantly, is there anything to do to lessen or even eliminate these negative feelings?
First of all, I like to point to my clients and anyone struggling with overwhelm and anxiety due to their disorganization that they are not alone. And sometimes people magnify the degree of the severity of their disorganization. But when someone is in the thick of things, it can be difficult to see that there are solutions and the situation is far from dire. From my point of view, there is always (mostly) a way out of disorganized chaos. And the organizing skills that I share with my clients and my followers are certainly learnable.
But I know that some people might be hampered by what I call their “veils”. “Veils” are like blinders and are created by peoples’ negative emotions or emotional blockages. The negative emotions are usually feelings of overwhelm, guilt, shame and lack of self worth. The veils prevent clarity, present a somewhat distorted view of reality and unfortunately, are hindrances to getting unstuck and moving forward.
But can people deal with and transcend these negative emotions so that they can move forward and improve their situation? Yes. There is a “tool” called the Emotional Freedom Technique or “tapping” that can help people break through their emotional blockages. I learned this technique several years ago and it has helped me tremendously. I have also used it occasionally with clients (and others) who want to get unstuck. I have found that the information at the Tapping Solution website to be the most helpful. The site explains that “The practice consists of tapping with your fingertips on specific meridian points while talking through traumatic memories and a wide range of emotions…studies show that by stimulating these parts of your body …you can drastically reduce or eliminate the distress that accompanies or gives rise to these problems you face. By doing so, you can often eliminate the problems themselves!” The key is to be able to really zero in on the specific emotion to really get at the gist of the distress.
For example, at an initial organizing session when I was working with one extremely distressed client who happened to be a hoarder, I realized that we were not getting anything accomplished due to her severe anxiety (she was literally trembling). I then suggested that she try EFT tapping. She agreed to give it a shot. Since she was crying, I took over as a surrogate for her—verbalizing what I thought were her fears and feelings as I showed her how to tap along with me. (Full disclosure: I was nervous about this but took the plunge anyway because she was having a hard time verbalizing.) As is customary in tapping, one should report on a scale of 1-10 how severe the feeling is. She was at a 10. We went through a few rounds after which she reported that she was at a severity of 4. Then we decided to try to do some organizing again and this time she was able to participate. She was even able to give away a few things for donation. I was impressed with her change in her demeanor and her courage.
I share this story to demonstrate the effectiveness of tapping around emotional blockages. Actually, there are countless stories of how this technique has helped so many, even Vietnam Vets and Rwandan survivors with PTSD. Would you like to try if for yourself? You can visit the Tapping Solution and learn how to do it yourself or you can contact me for a private and confidential session. Who knows–you might be able to break through the emotional blockages that have been holding you back and allow your true, authentic self to shine.